Justin slapped me. I slapped him back. We continued for a few more rounds until he had me pinned down on his couch-come-bed, both my hands bound in one of his paddles. He hated that I called them that because of his body dysmorphia.
I forget how insensitive I am sometimes. But his hands are large, neat and masculine, and I thought that was a sort of compliment.
‘Enough!’ I yelled, breathily but laughing. ‘Stop. You can’t keep slapping me’
‘You started it! You kept hitting me! How is that fair?’
‘Well you shouldn’t slap me back. What if you were on the street and someone hit you, what would you do?’ I asked, straddling him holding his forearms.
We were fully clothed, and even though I told him we weren’t fucking anymore I still wanted to, and struggled to hold back my physical cravings.
‘I wouldn’t do anything. I’d walk away’ he said.
‘Exactly, so why is this different?’ He smiled, looking into my face. Searching for a sign.
‘Wait, why has this become serious all of a sudden? Are you actually mad at me? I thought we were just joking. You hit me first!’
‘Yeah but… I’m not mad. But now my face hurts’
‘So does mine!’
‘Okay. Let’s just not do it again’ I said stroking the back of his head. I kissed him and jumped off to resume coffee-making, which had been cast aside in favour of this sexually-fuelled boundary test.
Just like previous times, I felt confused and torn between my knowledge and understanding of domestic abuse and violence against women. But it was true- we were playing and I did hit him first. And it was true that we both felt pain from this stupid wrestle. I decided to deal with the moral quandary another time and just take him as he was then. A flawed and pervasive boundary pusher not unlike me.